Monday, January 22, 2007

And Mumbai Ran

Mumbai runs everyday. It runs to catch its BEST buses and the 6:11 Virar fast. It runs home to fill up water and it runs to work, school and college. It runs in the morning, in the afternoon, in the night and through out the night. But on Sunday it ran the Mumbai Marathon for a cause, for its ‘place of work’, for its spirit, for ‘just like that’, for sending out a message and for itself. It ran in the Dream Run and competed for the Half and the Full Marathon.

Around 30,000 Mumbaikars ran for what they believed in. From the 96 year old Charushila Mohte who ran for Harmony to the 12 year old Vani Jhaveri who ran for WSD. Many who were physically challenged but with lots of grit and determination took part in the 3.5 km run in wheel-chairs and crutches. Many were fancily dressed –as the Air India Maharaja, in a Navvari saree with a ‘nuth’, as Gandhiji, as demons and as a lone Shah Rukh Khan at the KBC show. Many ran for the NGO’s that they support and sported T-Shirts of the NGO. The CRY, Salaam Balak Trust and WSD yellow and black, the Akanksha green, the Magic Bus white with the red bus, the Harmony yellow and blue and many many more. Thousands ran for their companies. I could spot DHL, Shiamak’s VAF, Colgate Palmolive, Mahindra, Citigroup and others in the crowd.

The Dream Run started at 9:10 outside the C.S.T. Terminus with all of us having to walk till we got to almost the Khadi Gram Udyog junction on D.N. Road due to the sheer number of runners. The route went on via the Veer Nariman road turned left at Jazz By The Bay onto Marine Drive and then a U-turn at the Oberoi all the way to the Marine Drive fly-over. Everyone mostly walked up the fly-over and then down to Princess Street and the run ended its six kilometers at Metro.

There were lakhs of people old and young who had lined up the streets to cheer the runners. They were chanting ‘Run Mumbai Run’ and motivating the runners. . I spotted Dilip D’Souza with his children on the fly-over near Marine Lines station cheering people. The organizers and sponsors had arranged for ‘cheer leaders’ who were at different spots dancing to the tunes of Kajra Re and other popular Hindi numbers.

The Marathon always lifts up your spirits and till the next Marathon; Mumbaikars will get back to their everyday running.
Here are some more photos of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2007

The Air India Maharaja

Run WSD Run

Marine Drive packed with runners

Past the Cowasji Jehangir Hall

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